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MobileIron and Telefonica partnership targets multinational firms with EMM solutoins

by Andrew Brown | Jul 31, 2015

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) company MobileIron and global service provider Telefonica announced a joint deal this week to sell the EMM vendor’s solutions through the Telefonica Business Solutions channel. 

By partnering with Telefonica Business Solutions, MobileIron is looking to expand its market for enterprise mobility management (EMM) products beyond its traditional U.S. customer base. The deal could also help MobileIron expand its global EMM SaaS coverage, while also bring more EMM deployments to Telefonica’s vast footprint of 170 countries. Multi-national enterprises using MobileIron will benefit, as the EMM/carrier partnership will allow companies operating to more easily support a unified MobileIron EMM deployment for employees across multiple regions.

EMM solutions are a superset of discrete products, including Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Content Management (MCM). While usage of these components is fairly pervasive (nearly 80% of enterprises use MDM, and over three=quarters of enterprises use some form of MAM), uptake is slightly less in Europe. Around a quarter of European enterprises do not use either MDM or MAM, compared to around 15% of U.S. enterprises not using these technologies.

With over 50% of MobileIron’s revenue coming from the United States, and pressure from investors to grow its market share against competitors AirWatch (owned by VMWare), Citrix and Microsoft, the vendor is looking to expand in Europe and Latin America, where it has a more limited installed base. 

MobileIron’s technology is primarily a premise-based EMM solution (i.e. servers and gateways are required inside the enterprise perimeter to use the solution). While it does offer a SaaS component, it’s data centers are not as globally distributed as many of its EMM competitors, such as Microsoft, AirWatch and Citrix, which have vast SaaS-delivery footprints spanning multiple regions. Partnering with Telefonica could will help MobileIron expand its SaaS footprint, while also allowing it to support more on-premise deployments in Europe and Latin America.

MobileIron is the only major pure-play EMM vendor that is publicly traded. It differentiates on its strong focus on mobile security, and the fact that it is agnostic with regards to other IT platforms, such as enterprise applications, networking, and data centers. MobileIron’s biggest challenge is battling EMM providers tying their products to such platforms (i.e. SAP and IBM in apps, Citrix in apps and networks, and AirWatch/VMware and Microsoft in servers and data centers).

From Telefonica’s point of view, the deal gives the service provider a strong, security-focused EMM platform to integrate its other multinational-targeted mobility services, including telecom expense management, Wi-Fi roaming services, and managed UC and security services. Having MobileIron in its portfolio will make the carrier more competitive with other MNC-focused service providers offering EMM solutions, such as Vodafone, which is an AirWatch partner. 

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